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Penny Hardaway Makes a Ton of Excuses, Doesn't Want Any More 'Stupid F---ing Questions'

Kyle Koster
Joe Murphy/GettyImages
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Penny Hardaway lost his cool during a postgame press conference last night following Memphis' third consecutive loss, telling the media to "stop asking me stupid f---ing questions." The Tigers, stuffed to the gills with talent, have struggled to a 9-8 campaign and appear a million miles away from being capable of reaching their lofty goals.

"I think the one thing I can say to this media because this media gets kinda f---ed up sometimes when it comes to me." Hardaway responded to a question asking if he's lost faith he could get the job done. "We don't have our full roster. Y'all know we don't have our full roster. Stop asking me stupid f---ing questions about if I feel like I can do something.

"If I had my roster like they did, then I feel like I can do whatever I want to do. I'm coaching really hard, my boys are playing really hard, I'm not embarrassed about nothing. We have four freshmen starting, y'all need to act like it. Act like we got 17- and 18- and 19-year-olds out here trying to learn how to play against 22-, 23- and 24-year-old guys. Come on, man. Stop disrespecting me, bro. Like, don't do that. I work too f---ing hard. I work way too hard for that. Y'all write all these bulls--- articles about me and all I do is work. We got young kids on the floor. They got young kids on the floor."

DeAndre Williams and Landers Nolley missed Thursday night's loss to SMU. There have been COVID issues. And as a result, more has been put on the plates of freshmen Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren. The five-star recruits have shown their youth more than their sky-high potential to this point.

One one hand, the frustration is perfectly understandable. On the other, this probably isn't the way you want from the leader of a particularly inexperienced team in terms of public messaging. Lamenting that the other side has 23- and 24-year-olds on the roster is honestly one of the lamest things a college basketball coach has done in a long time. What is the NCAA supposed to do? Step in and take away the victory like it's some sort of Danny Almonte situation? Perhaps such realities should have factored into the equation when recruiting Bates, who has a chance to be the next Kevin Durant but is still only 17-years-old.

The question that set Hardaway off is a bit silly. Obviously he wouldn't be doing the job if he didn't believe he could do it. But what is the practical purpose of lashing out at the press and offering excuse after excuse for why the job isn't getting done? Doesn't that just send the message to a team already on the brink that it's perfectly acceptable to throw their own personal pity party?

Surely there's a certain sect of Memphis fans rushing to pat Hardaway on the back for sticking it to the big, bad press. I guess it's something to cling to in a difficult time. What else is there when eight of the last 12 contests have ended in defeat?

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